Posts Tagged ‘undead detective’


In Fiction on December 9, 2013 at 1:37 pm



“Sit, Mr. Brennan. Your wound is weeping.”

When I turned, Philippe Bonté was sitting at the white marble counter, delicately stirring a coffee.

“How’d you do that?” I asked, slow to comprehend. “You weren’t there before.”

“I wasn’t?” he asked innocently. “Well, if you’re sure… You really are a magnificent detective, Mr. Brennan. Voudriez-vous un café?”

I crossed the room in three long strides and put my pistol beneath his chin.

Non, merci,” I said, readying the hammer with a click, but Bonté didn’t so much as flinch. He wiped his mouth and waved the napkin in the air like a little white flag. Read the rest of this entry »


The Crucible of Death

In Fiction on June 13, 2013 at 1:32 pm

light through windows with curtains

The Crucible of Death

When I awoke, the golden morning was pouring through tall windows, glowing behind shifting gossamer curtains. Madelaine lay beside me, long and liquid and naked. She smiled.

“You talk in your sleep, Sean,” she said. I sat up. I was still fully dressed.

“Anything interesting?”

“Dreadfully boring. Dirty laundry and mysteries and murder.”

She rose from the bed and stepped to the window, where she was a cutout in the incredible light. The sun flashed through her legs. I reached for my gun. Read the rest of this entry »

Dead Drunk

In Fiction on May 29, 2013 at 10:59 am


Dead Drunk

I don’t know what made me angrier, that the bitch had killed me, or that she thought she could make up for it with some pulpy story of lust and love.

“Listen, cherie,” I said, my words slurred by what must have been a dozen bourbons, “you used me, that’s all there is. Stole away my life even as I live and breathe.”

“You’re dead drunk,” Madelaine said.

“Correction, miss,” I replied. “I’m dead and drunk. Your version’s a noir cliché, mine’s a Greek tragedy. And you know the thing about tragedies?”

“What’s that?”

“Everyone always dies at the end.”

I fumbled in my pocket and drew out my gat, a trusty 1911 with steel plating. Unsteady, I leaned into the counter and took aim at Madelaine’s face, squinting one eye to make sure she was all lined up. Read the rest of this entry »


In Fiction on May 8, 2013 at 10:17 pm



“I see that look on your face: You don’t believe me, and I don’t blame you. But I do love you, Sean Brennan—after a fashion.

Shh. Don’t interrupt, sweetie. Let me explain:

When I came to see you four days ago (or three and a half if it please you) I told you I was desperate, and that was true. I’d come to unlock my place that morning—let in the day shift and count the take from the night before—when I’d found a note slid underneath the door.

Philippe Bonté, the cochon that owned the place before me, was threatening to run me out. He’d changed his mind about the sale, and told me he was coming back to take the place by force—with a few of his guys for good measure, naturally.

You ok, honey? You want another drink? Suit yourself… Read the rest of this entry »

The Talisman

In Fiction on April 30, 2013 at 11:10 pm

empty bar undead detective new orleans

The Talisman

“You took a piece of my heart?”

“Isn’t it romantic?”

I frowned. Les Moelleux was clearing out as we drank, and apart from the few dancers that remained, undone in the laps of patrons in dark corners, we were alone.

“And your story about someone robbing your place? That was a lie?”

Madelaine smiled.

“Well… it was half true. The other half is that they wanted me dead, too.”

She sipped her drink and swirled the ice.

“I needed you to help me stop them,” she said, “but, when you couldn’t do that, I needed a talisman for protection instead.”

She fingered the chain around her neck and winked, but I was done with this game. My hands were shaking. Read the rest of this entry »

Her Body Begs For Death

In Fiction on April 24, 2013 at 10:37 pm


Her Body Begs For Death

Les Moelleux was shining like a riverboat in the rain that night, the gaslights burning like a thousand tiny fires in a thousand cozy hearths. A loud zydeco tune was spilling from behind the windows, frantic with accordion and rub-board rhythm. The music itself wasn’t so unusual—the joint was as Creole as crawfish étouffée, after all—but what did strike me was the voice, sultry and sweet, that flowed along with it: It was Madelaine’s.

When I pushed through the door, she gave me a bashful, baleful glance and just kept on singing—as if she hadn’t put three slugs in me just the night before:

Elle dit qu’il est trop tard
Elle ne parle qu’au passé
Son corps implore la mort
Elle ne peut plus respire Read the rest of this entry »

Les Moelleux

In Fiction on April 17, 2013 at 2:34 pm

new orleans french quarter building

Les Moelleux

Madelaine Meilleur: The broad that shot me, that killed me—then brought me back to life. I was turning it over in my mind as I walked, plugging in the numbers, but it just didn’t compute.

She had a place in the French Quarter, a cute little burlesque where the girls were razor thin and just as sharp. I don’t know where she found them—they were like creatures from another world—but every time I’d gone in, they’d worked me over like they were fixing to eat me for dinner. Madelaine had been convinced someone was about to rob the place. She wouldn’t say who or when or why, but she insisted I was the only one who could stop them. Read the rest of this entry »

Basic Physiology

In Fiction on April 11, 2013 at 12:02 am

The Night Alight

Basic Physiology

When I came to, the rain was coming down so hard Charlie’s office felt like a submarine in a dive: Water streaked the windows, warping the streetlights—making me seasick.

“This isn’t possible,” Charlie said. He peeled off his gloves and tossed them in an aluminum bin.

“This is a piece of your lung,” he said, lifting a vial from the table and shaking it. “I’ve got brain, liver and heart on slides under the scope. All dead tissue.”

“Isn’t that what we expected?”

Charlie bowed his head and squeezed his temples.

“I don’t take this stuff for granted, Sean. The physiology is very straightforward. Your heart is pumping, but your blood…” he lifted another tube, full of crimson muck, “…is no good. It can’t possibly carry oxygen. Your systems should be shutting down. You should be a vegetable.” Read the rest of this entry »


In Fiction on April 3, 2013 at 1:33 pm



“You come here in the middle of the night and tell me you were dead yesterday, Sean. What am I supposed to think?”

“Think scientifically, Charlie,” I said, and I sat on the table. “You’re a doctor, after all.”

“I’m a coroner.”

“Even better.”

Charlie sat on his stool and eyed me carefully, his gaze drifting to the crimson-stained X on my chest.

“Three to the ticker?”


I peeled back the tape and let my heart pump its congealed refuse onto Charlie’s floor. If he hadn’t believed me before, he sure did then. Read the rest of this entry »